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Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Saturday, July 18

There were five more deaths reported.

The death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic in Minnesota has risen to 1,538 after five more deaths were reported Saturday in the Minnesota Department of Health's daily COVID-19 update.

The deaths included three people in their 90s from Hennepin County, one in their 80s from Renville County, and one in their 50s from Ramsey County. Three of the fatal cases involved people from long-term care facilities, and two were from private residences.

There was also an increase in the number of hospitalizations and ICU cases.

Seven of the 464 positive tests in Saturday's report have been removed for an official tally of 457. Cases are removed for a variety of reasons, including patients being from another state and false-positive test results.

The positive cases are the result of 16,492 tests, creating a daily positive test rate of 2.77 percent – the lowest it's been in weeks. The positive test rates for each reporting period over the past 12 days are:

  • July 7: 10.2%
  • July 8: 5.9%
  • July 9: 4.6%
  • July 10: 2.96%
  • July 11: 5.00%
  • July 12: 5.5%
  • July 13: 3.5%
  • July 14: 5.2%
  • July 15: 4.4%
  • July 16: 4.1%
  • July 17: 4.5%
  • July 18: 2.77%

The World Health Organization says that a 14-day positive test rate of below 5 percent is the key to keeping businesses open. 

"If you go above 5 percent it indicates that you may be heading back into a phase of more rapid spread of the disease," said MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

Coronavirus in Minnesota by the numbers:

  • Tests: 835, 962 (up from 819,511)
  • Confirmed cases: 45,470 (up from 45,013)
  • Deaths: 1,538 (up from 1,533)
  • Still hospitalized: 265 (up from 252)
  • Patients in intensive care: 117 (up from 110)
  • Patients no longer requiring isolation: 39,310 (up from 38,568)

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